Proposed abortion legislation creates 'moral and ethical dilemma for doctors'

Dr Sam Coulter Smith.

The Master of the Rotunda Hospital, Dr Sam Coulter Smith, has said the inclusion of suicide in the new abortion legislation poses a "moral dilemma" for doctors.

The Oireachtas Health Committee will begin three days of hearings into the draft bill today.

More than 50 medical, psychiatric and legal experts will appear before the Committee between this morning and next Tuesday evening.

Dr Coulter Smith said he has concerns about the inclusion of suicide in the legislation.

He said: "Currently I haven't seen evidence that the termination of a pregnancy is an appropriate treatment for somebody who is suicidal, neither suicidal ideation nor suicide intent.

"So asking obstetricians to get involved in the termination of a pregnancy when there is little evidence to show that it is an appropritate intervention, I think creates a moral and ethical dilemma for doctors."

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